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Women Leading Nigerian Banks Climbs An All Time High



Women Leading Nigerian Banks Climbs An All Time High |

Adaora Umeoji will be taking on the leadership helm at Zenith Bank, a major Nigerian bank. She’ll officially start as the group’s managing director and CEO on June 1, 2024. This is exciting news, as Umeoji joins a growing group of powerful women leading Nigerian banks. There are already seven other female CEOs running major banks in the country.

Adaora Umeoji takes over from Ebenezer Onyeagwu, who’s been the CEO for the past five years. His term ends on May 31st. This isn’t the only recent change at the top of Nigerian banks with female leaders. Just a few months ago, Yetunde Oni became the new managing director of Union Bank of Nigeria. In February, Bolaji Agbede stepped up as the acting group CEO of Access Holdings after the passing of Herbert Wigwe.

A report by Agusto Consulting just revealed that women are making big strides on company boards. In 2022, the number of female board members reached an all-time high. This isn’t a one-time jump, either. Over the past five years, the number of women on boards has steadily increased. In 2018, only 18% of board seats were held by women. But by 2022, that number had risen to an impressive 25%.

While Nigeria is making progress, there’s still room to grow. Countries like South Africa (at 36%), the United Kingdom (at 41%), and the United States (at 35%) all have a higher percentage of women in board positions. This shows there’s an opportunity for Nigeria to continue its upward trend and reach an even greater gender balance.

Profiles of Women Leading MDs and CEOs of Some Other Major Nigerian Banks.

Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Fidelity Bank

Onyeali-Ikpe, one of the powerful women leading Nigerian banks, is the current managing director/CEO of Fidelity Bank. She holds degrees from the University of Nigeria and Kings College, London, and has attended executive training programs at several institutions. Onyeali-Ikpe was previously the executive director for Lagos and the South West region of the bank. She is also an honorary senior member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.

Tomi Somefun, Unity Bank

Tomi Somefun is the current MD/CEO of Unity Bank. She graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University with a Bachelor of Education in English Language. She holds an honorary degree of Doctor of Business Administration from Redeemer’s University. Before she was appointed the managing director/CEO of Unity Bank in August 2015, she served as the executive director overseeing the Lagos and South-West Business directorates, the financial institution division, and the treasury department of the bank. She is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.

Miriam Olusanya, Guaranty Trust Bank Limited

Miriam Olusanya is the managing director of a bank in Nigeria. She holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom. Before becoming the bank’s MD, she served as the group treasurer and head of the wholesale banking division. She is also a non-executive director of the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System and the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facilities. Additionally, she is a member of the Financial Markets Sub-Committee of the Bankers’ Committee.

Ireti Samuel-Ogbu, Citi Bank

Ireti Samuel-Ogbu is the CEO and country officer for Nigeria and Ghana at Citi Bank. She holds a BA Hons degree in Accounting and Finance from Middlesex University, UK, and an MBA from the University of Bradford, UK. Before she was appointed CEO, she served as the managing director of Europe, Middle East, and Africa payments and receivables head, treasury, and trade solutions under Citi’s Institutional Clients Group, based in London, UK. Ireti Samuel-Ogbu also co-founded two impactful mentorship initiatives within Citi. These include the Sapphire Leadership Program for the Middle East and Africa, and the Momentum Program in the UK.

Yemisi Edun, FCMB

Yemisi Edun has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Ife and a master’s degree in international accounting and finance from the University of Liverpool, UK. She is also a member of several professional organizations, including the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers and the Institute of Taxation of Nigeria. Edun began her career with Akintola Williams Deloitte in 1987 and joined FCMB in 2000 as divisional head of internal audit and control. She was appointed managing director of the bank on May 1, 2021.

Bolaji Agbede, Access Holdings

Bolaji Agbede was the most senior founding executive director at the company before being appointed as acting group CEO. She had previously worked at Guaranty Trust Bank and JKG Limited before joining Access Bank in 2003 as an assistant general manager. She has been the head of human resources for the Access Bank Group since 2010. Agbede holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Lagos and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Cranfield University, UK.

Yetunde Oni, managing director/CEO of Union Bank of Nigeria

Banking powerhouse Yetunde Oni brings 25 years of experience to Union Bank. She excels at leading teams, and crafting client solutions, and she boasts a strong academic background (Economics degree, MBA, Oxford executive training).

Yetunde Oni began her career at Prime Merchant Bank’s Treasury & Money Markets Group. She then spent 11 years at Ecobank Nigeria as a Relationship Manager. In 2005, she joined Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, rising to Managing Director & Country Head of Commercial Banking for West Africa. Before joining Union Bank, Yetunde Oni made history as the first female Managing Director and CEO at Standard Chartered Bank in Sierra Leone.

Bukola Smith, FSDH Merchant Bank

Bukola Smith has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Lagos and an MBA from Manchester Business School. She has extensive experience in banking, including customer service, treasury, investment, project finance, audits, and sales. She has held various positions at Fidelity Bank and First City Monument Bank Limited, including divisional head of Treasury and institutional banking, group head of Treasury and Financial Institutions, divisional head of Investment Banking and Financial Markets, director of project and Structured Finance, and divisional head of Group Internal Audit.

Halima Buba, Suntrust Bank

Halima Buba, who is also one of the women leading Nigerian banks, is a seasoned banker with over 22 years of experience. She holds a B.Sc. in business management and an MBA from the University of Maiduguri. She is an honorary fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and a fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants. Buba is the MD/CEO of Sun Trust Bank Ltd. and sits on the board of several reputable institutions.

Kafilat Araoye, Lotus Bank

Araoye has a degree in History and an M.Sc. in industrial relations & personnel management. She holds Islamic finance certifications. She started her career in 1988 at National Oil and Chemicals Marketing Company Plc and moved to Guaranty Trust Bank Plc in 1990 as the pioneer head of human resources.

This increase in female board members is a positive sign. It suggests that companies in Nigeria are recognizing the value of diversity in leadership. The future looks bright for women in Nigerian boardrooms! With continued progress, we can expect to see even more women shaping the direction of businesses in the future.


How To Manage Potential Shipping Risks



How To Manage Potential Shipping Risks |

The world of international trade relies heavily on efficient and safe shipping. However, this process isn’t without its risks. From unpredictable weather to damaged cargo, unforeseen events can disrupt deliveries and cost businesses money. Here are some key tips to help you manage shipping risks and ensure your goods reach their destination smoothly:

Pre-shipment Planning

  • Choose the Right Partner: Selecting a reputable and reliable shipping company is crucial. Look for companies with experience in your specific cargo type and familiarity with your destination. Research their track record, safety standards, and insurance offerings.
  • Pack Securely: Proper packaging is essential to protect your cargo from damage during transport. Use high-quality packing materials that can withstand potential rough handling and varying weather conditions. Consider using dunnage (protective materials like packing peanuts or bubble wrap) to fill empty spaces and prevent items from shifting during transit.
  • Accurate Documentation: Ensure all documentation is complete and accurate. This includes commercial invoices, bills of lading (a legal document outlining the contract of carriage), packing lists, and any necessary certificates (e.g., fumigation certificates for certain goods). Errors in documentation can lead to delays or even the seizure of your shipment at customs.
  • Insurance: Shipping insurance provides financial protection against loss or damage to your cargo during transport. Consider the value of your goods and the potential shipping risks involved when choosing an insurance policy.

Risk Mitigation During Transit

  • Track Your Shipment: Most shipping companies offer real-time tracking tools. Monitor your shipment’s progress to identify any potential delays or issues early on.
  • Communicate Effectively: Maintain clear communication with your shipping partner, the consignee (the recipient of the goods), and any third-party logistics providers involved. Timely updates and clear communication can help address problems quickly and minimise disruptions.
  • Contingency Plans: Be prepared for unexpected events. Develop contingency plans to address potential issues like bad weather, port congestion, or political unrest that might delay your shipment. Consider alternative shipping routes or modes of transport if necessary.

Post-Shipment Considerations

  • Customs Clearance: The arrival of your goods at the destination port requires clearing customs. Familiarise yourself with the import regulations of the destination country to avoid delays. You may need to work with a customs broker to navigate the clearance process.
  • Cargo Inspection: Be prepared for the possibility of your cargo being inspected by customs officials at the destination port. Ensure all documentation is readily available to facilitate a smooth inspection process.
  • Damage Claims: If your cargo arrives damaged, promptly file a claim with your shipping insurance provider. Document the damage thoroughly with photos, and keep copies of all relevant documents for the insurance claim process.

Additional Tips

  • Diversify Your Routes: Don’t rely on a single shipping route. Consider diversifying your routes to minimise the impact of disruptions in specific regions.
  • Technology Integration: Utilise technology to streamline your shipping processes. Many shipping companies offer online booking, tracking, and document management tools.
  • Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated on current events and potential disruptions that could affect shipping, such as changes in import regulations, weather forecasts, or political instability in certain regions.

By following these tips and proactively managing risks, you can ensure a smoother and more secure shipping experience for your business. Remember, effective risk management is an ongoing process that requires continuous evaluation and adaptation based on changing circumstances.

Get more business tips here.

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2024 Champion Awards: See The Businesses That Stood Out




2024 Champion Awards: See Businesses That Stood Out |

Over 5,500 Australian small businesses threw their hats in the ring for the prestigious 2024 Small Business Champion Awards. But only a handful—fewer than 45—made it to the final round in the Business Services and Business Consultancy categories.

This year marks a quarter-century of celebrating Australia’s amazing small businesses. There are a whopping 2.5 million of them across the country, making huge contributions to our economy, communities, and culture. The Champion Awards recognize these incredible achievements.

The finalists truly represent the best of the best in the Business services and Business consulting fields. They’ve impressed the judges with their innovative ideas, exceptional customer service, and commitment to making a difference. Now, they’re in the running to be crowned champions.

Open to any small business in Australia, the Awards celebrate the best of the best across all kinds of industries, from shops and restaurants to factories and manufacturers. There are over 100 different categories to compete in, so there’s something for everyone. A panel of experienced small business owners who know what it takes to succeed will be judging the entries.

Steve Loe, who runs the Australian Small Business Champion Awards, says these businesses are vital and need all the support they can get, especially now. He’s impressed by how tough they’ve been, and he can’t wait to celebrate their success.

The winners of the 2024 Australian Small Business Champion Awards will be announced on April 12th and 13th in Sydney. Popular TV personality Jayne Azzopardi will be hosting the event, and famous singers like Dami Im, Harrison Craig, Johnny Manuel, and Stefanie Jones, the star of Australia’s recent Mary Poppins show, will be performing live.

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Supported by big names like Commonwealth Bank, Nine Ad Manager, and NOVA Employment, these awards celebrate the incredible work of small businesses in many different industries.

Twenty-two businesses are finalists in the Business Services category. This includes A.S. Virtual Solutions, Actwell Lighting, and Premier Team Building. They’re all competing to be named the Champion of Business Services. In the Business consulting category, BDC Partners, Blue Sky Career Consulting, and Impact HR are battling it out to be the Champion business consultants.

The awards will pick one winner in each category.

For more information about the 2024 Champion Awards, including a full list of 2024 Finalists, visit here

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Here Are Nigerian Banks With Increased E-banking Income



Nigerian Banks Have Increased E-banking Income |

Nigerian banks are experiencing a surge in digital banking activity, further solidifying their position in this rapidly growing financial sector. According to recent data on revenue earned by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), seven Nigerian banks raked in a combined ₦495.57 billion in 2023 from electronic banking charges, account maintenance fees, and other related income.

This impressive figure represents a significant 36% increase compared to the ₦365.11 billion earned in the previous year (2022). The frontrunners in this digital banking boom include FBN Holdings Plc, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, FCMB Group Plc, Wema Bank Plc, Sterling Financial Holdings Company Plc, and Jaiz Bank Plc.

These Nigerian banks are capitalising on the growing trend of Nigerians embracing digital banking solutions.

FBN Holdings emerged as a major player in the digital banking space, pulling in a substantial ₦66.04 billion in electronic banking fees during the review period (2023).

This wasn’t their only source of income; they also collected ₦204.9 billion from various fees and commissions, along with an additional ₦22.08 billion generated from account maintenance charges. These figures highlight FBN Holdings’ significant revenue stream within the digital banking landscape.

Stanbic IBTC made a lot more money from bank fees and commissions in 2023 than in 2022. Their income from these fees went up by 23%, reaching ₦117.84 billion in 2023 compared to ₦96.07 billion the year before.

FCMB Group’s financial performance in 2023 showed a positive trend in their fee and commission income. According to the bank’s unaudited results and accounts, they generated ₦60.78 billion from these sources.

Nigerian Banks Have Increased E-banking Income |

This represents a significant increase of 38% compared to the ₦44 billion earned in 2022. This growth suggests that FCMB Group is effectively capitalising on new revenue opportunities within the fee and commission segment.

Fidelity Bank enjoyed a banner year in 2023 when it came to fee and commission income. According to their reports, the bank raked in ₦44.91 billion from these sources, reflecting a substantial growth of 44% compared to the ₦31.15 billion earned in 2022.

This significant increase suggests that Fidelity Bank is successfully implementing strategies to expand its revenue streams within the fee and commission sector.

Sterling Bank’s income from fees and commissions saw a positive upturn in 2023. The bank’s earnings in this category increased by a noteworthy 17.6% compared to the previous year.

In 2022, Sterling Bank reported ₦22.28 billion in fee and commission income, and this figure rose to ₦26.32 billion in 2023. This growth indicates a promising trend for Sterling Bank’s revenue generation within the fee and commission sector.

Wema Bank witnessed a remarkable surge in its fee and commission income in 2023. The bank’s earnings in this category jumped by an impressive 51.5% compared to the previous year.

This significant increase, from ₦16.59 billion declared in 2022 to ₦25.14 billion in 2023, highlights a positive trend in Wema Bank’s revenue generation strategy.

The Nigerian Central Bank’s (CBN) Naira redesign policy has been credited by experts as a major driver behind the booming e-banking sector. This policy, by incentivizing electronic payments, nudged many Nigerians to embrace cashless transactions.

This shift resulted in a significant surge in the volume of cashless transactions nationwide. The CBN itself, anticipating this trend, outlined its “Payments Vision 2025” document, which predicts a continued decline in the use of cash for everyday transactions by 2025.

This policy, coupled with a growing awareness of the convenience and security of digital payments, is propelling Nigeria towards a more cashless future.

For more on business and finance, visit here.

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